ideas for decluttering continually and painlessly - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-28-2013, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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With an emphasis on the 'painless'.  Ive come up with a couple of ideas that have been working for me recently.

 

One clutter problem stems from toys/things that belong in the back room (therefore inconvenient to walk to when cleaning up quickly) have nowhere to go in the front room.

 

So now, i put them in the washing basket. Every morning, i take the washing basket to my laundrey/bathroom anyway, and drop things off into the other room on the way. Painless!

 

 I still end up with a bit of kitchen countertop clutter...usually little things like marbles, or lego pieces that i dont have time to put away  right then and there.  Now i put as much away as possible first thing in the morning . That helps.

 

Any other ideas from some experienced declutterers?

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Old 09-28-2013, 02:38 PM
 
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I keep a give away box going at all times. That makes it so easy to make the final decision and get something on its way out of the house.
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:25 PM
 
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In the garage, we have a box for "donate" and a box for "sell".  I add to this all the time, almost daily.  Then when I have time I list the for sale stuff.  I take the donate stuff when we are going to be near the drop off location.  This is probably what helps us the most out of anything.  As for putting things back, I just try to do it after I use the item.  I am not great at it.  But having less stuff around does help with that, too, because even if a few things are out, it isn't a ton of stuff.


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Old 09-30-2013, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Both great ideas :-)

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Old 09-30-2013, 01:50 PM
 
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Here's another. Pick up and declutter as you go, not just in dedicated sessions. I am seeing that is one of my problems. When I miss the set times I have to tidy and declutter things start to fall apart in the house quickly.
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Old 09-30-2013, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I do delcutter as i go, but that depends on where i am going! Ie, im doing something else, in a hurry, not going in that direction... i did say 'painless'. Thats why the washing basket works for me, because i  know  things will get redistributed into their  proper location the next day when im doing the washing....

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Old 02-06-2014, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post

 

 I still end up with a bit of kitchen countertop clutter...usually little things like marbles, or lego pieces that i dont have time to put away  right then and there.  Now i put as much away as possible first thing in the morning . That helps.

 

 

I found something better, because the 'little things like marbles' can accumulate on the kitchen countertop, and i dont always have time to  put them all away every morning.

Enter the...box that is nailed to the wall-little things go in there to be put away when i can,  every so often. That way, clutter is off the countertop, and on a  harmless little spot on the wall that is otherwise unused space. I also put pencils that need sharpening in there.

 

Its really solved that problem.

 

I see that not many people are replying to this thread. These kind of ideas change my life, and are great time  and well as space savers.

 

Any other original ideas out there?

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Old 02-20-2014, 09:45 AM
 
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I suck at painless, other than I do keep "sell" and "Donate" bags going at all times. Oh I also keep a basket at the door to collect shoes so they're out of the way before they get redistributed to appropriate bedrooms

Katie, mommy to Oliver (2007) and brand new Ava Estelle (2014)! 
Decluttering Challenge:  303/2014 items are gone!
$728 made from selling my "stuff"
(I've gotten rid of 3711 items over the last four years on this forum! Last years selling total: $456)
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Old 02-20-2014, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In my case, if its not painless, it doesnt get done often enough. I thrive on a daily routine of painless but effective. The key is to to do things on the way to doing other things-like redistributing toys in the playroom, on my way to the laundry.

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Old 02-22-2014, 05:22 PM
 
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I constantly re-evaluate everything I use. 

I keep a box by the front door and throw things I no longer want / need in there as I go. When I know I'll be passing the care and share, I pop the box in the back of the van. Or make it a point to go if the box fills up.

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Old 02-25-2014, 04:37 PM
 
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I have made "put it away" a mantra for myself and everyone else in the house.  We have the donation bag by the door, we routinely edit posessions, so the number one source of clutter stems from people not putting things away immediately after they've finished using them.

 

I have a number of systems in place that allow things to be put away in a place that is logical and easy - for example, the entryway closet is a well-organized drop point for bags, jackets, hats, etc. - but NOTHING that I set up or create will help if they won't do it.  It's taken months of patiently insisting, but they are starting to get better.  I think they're just tired of being asked to stop whatever they're doing and come pick up something they've left behind. 

 

My DH has been the toughest nut to crack, but I've been hitting the "setting a good example" angle - he likes that - and he's gotten much better.

 

And the boys - no one ever wanted to part with anything until faced with, "Oh, ok - you're keeping that?  WHERE are you keeping it...where does it belong?  Can you put it there now?"  And then suddenly donation looks like a more appealing option.  :D

 

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So...I'm 43 and pregnant with #3 - how'd that happen?  

 

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Old 02-26-2014, 10:45 AM
 
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well ... the reason i haven't been posting is .... that i haven't yet managed to do it continually AND it is NOT a painless process at all (for me, on an emotional level ...)

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Old 02-26-2014, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tresleo View Post
 

I constantly re-evaluate everything I use. 

I keep a box by the front door and throw things I no longer want / need in there as I go. When I know I'll be passing the care and share, I pop the box in the back of the van. Or make it a point to go if the box fills up.

I like this.  I dot something similar although probably not constantly enough. That is deliberate though, because clutter in time is as  bad as clutter in space, ie, i dont want to spend all day thinking about it.

 

Nonetheless,  i dont have room for a box near the door. So i have one in the middle room on the way to the laundry. I still wonder if that box is taking up too much space though...still trying to solve that problem.

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Old 03-09-2014, 09:10 AM
 
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We have a donation box and put-away-as-you-go habit.  For painless, though, as far as I'm concerned nothing beats just doing a small bit and then walking away.  Instead of a whole room I'll tackle an end-table or the ottoman, or one window sill (ours are over 10" deep and do duty as shelving, etc.) at a time, then call it done. 


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Old 03-31-2014, 12:00 AM
 
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I use the seasonal changes & activities as times to throw away & de-clutter around the year.

 

 *  Dec-Jan = Pre Lunar New Year clean & tidy - the apartment block has a special recycle bin for used but usable clothes. It's also the traditional time to do a big sweep out & clean

 * Spring shift  to Summer clothes - Usually in June - it's a traditional saying that you don't put away the winter woolies until after Dragon Boat Festival (5th day of 5th Lunar month).

* Summer - I usually have a week or 2 off from work & this is often when I try to clear out kitchen  & bathroom cabinets or under the bathroom sink

*  Fall - before the kids start school - go through their wardrobes & rooms & check for clothes & school supplies

 

Also there are 2 "garage sales" per year at my work - so another chance to gi through things & look for stuff to sell or give away.

 

Edited to add:  This is the answer to continuously (or at least, regularly)  - it's never painless ;)

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Old 11-10-2014, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Im adding a couple of notes here, since im still thinking about this subject. I dotn find much out there in the googling world, that doesnt say something different to, "Throw all your stuff away!"'

1. I put all small things (usually toys), into little containers or bags, which in turn goes into one big box. That way small things have a home. These small things have a way of becoming clutter if they dont have anywhere to go. My kids love to get out this box and rediscover all these little toys.

2. I see a toy/book/item of clothing i dont need, i put it in my outbox (usually my stroller), and leave it somewhere on the roadside, or near my building, where someone else who might find it useful can pick it up. I dont save things like this in a giveaway box anymore-that box takes up too much valuable space. If it needs to go, it goes out immediately. For eg, today, i left a book downstairs , with a couple of cassettes. The day before, i left a small figurine the kids dont use.

Newspaper articles buildup is a problem for me. I see something that contains useful information, so i want to keep it. I put the clippings in a bag, and subsequently forget!

Now, i have a system, where the minute i see this article, i write down the topic on notepaper, which goes in the bag. I might file it alphabetically. Still thinking about this one.....

Still looking for ideas....
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Old 11-10-2014, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Something else that causes clutter buildup is the 'things that need to be fixed" conundrum. Organizers advise to throw those things out. Sometimes that is a good idea, but not always. Again, its about managing stuff, not about throwing it all away.

I have a small box for spare parts-i find a screw on the floor-its probably the screw needs to fix that toy wheel. I put the screw in the box. When its time to fix the wheel, i know to look in the box. (this rather than throw out the screw, and the wheel, because i was too lazy to think about it)

So this magic box, has solved some clutter problems for me.

The one that im working on, is the 'fix that torn page in a book" problem. I used to leave the book on the table, that became a pile of books, and so on and so forth.

I still like the idea of fixing that thing first thing in the morning, but what if several days go by and there was no time?

Im not allowed to leave that book on the counter for more than 12 hours. But if out of sight, out of mind.

Im still working on that conundrum..
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